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In March 2018, Rainier Heli International signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Kopter North America for five firm and five SH09 options. Rainier has continued to monitor the development of the SH09 and based on the anticipated performance along with the operational cost advantages expected from the helicopter the company has made the decision to expand its existing options for five SH09 by an additional five aircraft for a total of ten options.
“We continue to monitor the development of the helicopter and based on what we see in terms of performance vs. forecasted costs of operation we felt compelled to expand our order book by five additional options”, said Richard “Lash” Larew, president of Rainier. “If the performance and operational costs of the SH09 plays out as advertised, we see a definite role for the SH09 in our operation and we look forward with anticipation towards certification and to the eventual delivery of the SH09 into our fleet”.
Larry Roberts, president, Sales, Marketing and Customer Support for Kopter North America commented: “Historically the operating margins in the highly competitive helicopter utility and firefighting industry are quite thin. One way that most successful helicopter operators are able to expand those margins is through their own operational savings. We believe this is an area where the SH09 will shine. Advancements in new composite technologies as well as helicopter health, usage and monitoring systems will allow for improved operational predictability, which will hone down on unscheduled maintenance events as well provide more complete prognostics to optimize scheduled maintenance resulting in increased mission readiness and lower maintenance costs”.